I just finished reading "Picking Up the PACE: A New Template for Shift Report" (Patient Safety, October 2006). The PACE template (Patient/Problem, Assessment/Actions, Continuing/Changes, Evaluation) is a great way to keep the shift-to-shift report organized. In the hospital where I work, we've been using another template called SBAR, which stands for Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendations. It's been working well and we've incorporated it into our computer charting system.
The SBAR format has blanks that need to be updated every shift, but it also pulls information from other computer documentation, such as the most recent vital signs and patient assessment. The information is printed out every shift and put in the patient's chart under a specially designated tab. This way, all other departments involved in the patient's care, such as physical therapy and radiology, have a brief synopsis of his current condition.
RACHEL KIECKER, RN
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North Mankato, Minn.